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Images from the 2018 Isle of Man TT: RST Superbike TT on the 2nd June
NEWS

TT 2018: Dunlop wins TT Superbike Opener

Jun 052018

Michael Dunlop opened his 2018 Isle of Man account in incredible style last weekend, with an emotional win in the RST Superbike TT.

The six-lap race marked the start of competition in earnest around the Snaefell Mountain Course; with the last week of action on the 37.73-mile circuit being reserved purely for practice and qualifying sessions.

Unfortunately that hasn’t meant this year’s TT fortnight has been without incident. Tragically Dunlop’s Tyco BMW teammate in the Superbike class - 30-year-old Dan Kneen - passed away after an accident during Wednesday night’s practice session.

Only just catching his breath after pulling into the winners enclosure at the end of Saturday’s Superbike race, Dunlop dedicated his win to Kneen saying: “I wanted to do something in Dan's memory. That win is for his family. It's hard to celebrate this win - it's been a hard week. We can’t say or do anything but that is for Dan and his family. He was my team-mate.”

 

"I struggled at the start and it took me time to settle. I had a bit of a problem with the rear end but I got my rhythm going and pushed to the finish. The bike didn’t miss a beat and the Tyco team have worked really hard to get things ready. The stops were faultless and I couldn’t have asked more.”

 

Now a 16-time winner, and triumphed in six out of the last nine Superbike races, Dunlop is looking to further make his mark in the history books at this year’s TT races. The Ballymoney rider will have to be on top form though. Rival racer Dean Harrison smashed Dunlop’s lap record set during the 2017 TT, during the Superbike opener. From a standing start the Bradford rider clocked in a time of 16:50.384, to give an average lap speed of 134.432mph, the first 134+mph lap in TT history and a new absolute lap record.

“There’s more to come definitely,” Dunlop said. “I’ve been quicker around here than my best lap on lap two during this race, but the pace has got so hot at this TT – we are seeing sub 17 minute laps. I think there’s very much a 135mph (average speed) lap in me. We’ll just work really hard this week and push for the Senior [TT]. Another win and another step forward!”

 

The action continues on Monday 4th June, with the Monster Energy Supersport TT (Race 1). Check out the official schedule here for more. Full results from the RST Superbike TT are available, here.

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